From one of the most interesting and iconic musicians of our time, a piercingly tender, funny, and harrowing account of the path from suburban poverty and alienation to a life of beauty, squalor, and unlikely success out of the NYC club scene of the late '80s and '90s.
There were many reasons Moby was never going to make it as a DJ and musician in the New York club scene. This was the New York of Palladium; of Mars, Limelight, and Twilo; of unchecked, drug-fueled hedonism in pumping clubs where dance music was still largely underground, popular chiefly among working-class African Americans and Latinos. And then there was Moby - not just a poor, skinny white kid from Connecticut but a devout Christian, a vegan, and a teetotaler. He would learn what it was to be spat on, to live on almost nothing. But it was perhaps the last good time for an artist to live on nothing in New York City: the age of AIDS and crack but also of a defiantly festive cultural underworld.
Not without drama, he found his way. But success was not uncomplicated; it led to wretched, if in hindsight sometimes hilarious, excess and proved all too fleeting. And so by the end of the decade, Moby contemplated an end in his career and elsewhere in his life and put that emotion into what he assumed would be his swan song, his good-bye to all that, the album that would in fact be the beginning of an astonishing new phase: the multimillion-selling Play.
At once bighearted and remorseless in its excavation of a lost world, Porcelain is both a chronicle of a city and a time and a deeply intimate exploration of finding one's place during the most gloriously anxious period in life, when you're on your own, betting on yourself, but have no idea how the story ends, and so you live with the honest dread that you're one false step from being thrown out on your face. Moby's voice resonates with honesty, wit, and above all an unshakable passion for his music that steered him through some very rough seas.
Porcelain is about making it, losing it, loving it, and hating it. It's about finding your people, your place, thinking you've lost them both, and then somehow, when you think it's over, from a place of well-earned despair, creating a masterpiece.
As a portrait of the young artist, Porcelain is a masterpiece in its own right, fit for the short list of musicians' memoirs that capture not just a scene but an age and something timeless about the human condition. Push "play".
©2016 Moby (P)2016 Penguin Audio
Having known nothing about Moby before getting this book I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it. I even got my wife to listen to it on a long trip and we were laughing as we drove.
I was a big fan of Moby as a teen in the early 90s. i loved the accounts of his life growing up and through that time. Very well written. Some of his analogies had me cracking up.
This was a fascinating and personal look into the music culture of my generation and the life of a DJ. Moby's honest, funny, gentle and charismatic personality translates beautifully in this book. The icing on the cake is having him deliver his story as the narrator. Nicely done Moby, I'm proud of you and grateful. ✨🙏🏽✨❤️🔊
A most enjoyable surprise about listening to this book was the fact that Moby himself wrote it and narrated it.
The entire book is made most memorable in that Moby has the rare ability to describe the most memorable and mundane events of his life with painstaking detail. You feel as though you're there with him.
My favorite part is near the end where Moby is able to recount parts of his early life growing up in Connecticut while driving through these parts listening to his own Play album in the cassette player of the car he's driving.
There were many parts in this book that moved me. We've all heard the cliches about failing and getting back up again and persevering. This is second nature to Moby. The pain and vulnerability that he shares in this book made me feel guilty for giving up too soon on my dream to make independent films. I hung up my hat too soon and traded in my cheap film equipment, self-written stories and dreams for executive positions in corporate America. This book has grounded me back in my own reality, not the reality of what those around me would like me to do - but the reality that, as an artist, I am truly only happy creating. Moby's life and passion can be get in his work and in the words contained in this book. Thank God he didn't give up, and we are all better for it.
If you're reading this review, Moby, how do I reach you to discuss scoring a film? email@example.com
I had never listened to any of Moby's music (and still don't get it) but I heard him on Bret Easton Ellis' podcast and bought the audiobook. I read a lot of biographies and this is one of the best I've read so far.
Thanks for sharing Moby!
Moby writes with honesty, wit, and prose that make this listener want to see him continue with this avenue of creativity.
I love his voice and his tone.
I recommend this audio format to anyone who knows his music.
First off, let me just say that I listened to this book because I LOVE Moby and his music hits me deeply and personally. I was stoked when I saw that he wrote a memoir.
The stories were great and for me, at times very relatable. I laughed out loud many times and couldn't wait to get home every night and listen more while cooking dinner.
With each chapter I found it more and more gripping really loving his journey.
Then he started getting to the really good parts about fame and loss, career problems, hopelessness, he gets to the part but I have been waiting for, porcelain. My all time favorite song.
Then the book ended.
I really enjoyed this. It was interesting to hear Moby share stories about his upbringing and struggles on the path to success. As someone who didn't discover Moby until the release of Play, I didn't know much about his history before that. With that being said, I was hoping to learn more about the writing of Play and his life since then. This is actually where the book ends, which in some ways left me still wondering about what led me to the book in the first place and wondering about his life over the last 16 or so years.
It's not easy to be so open about your worries and shortcoming specially you are writing them down as a memoir and the book will stay around for a long time. Porcelain is strong, raw, honest, sometimes impressive, sometimes ugly, much like the life itself. Moby fan or not you may still appreciate the story of a not-so-fortunate kid and his struggles, while becoming one of the best musicians of his genre.
I took one star away from it because most of the book is about his social interactions and fears. There is very little space for inspiration and creativity.
Overall it's a good listen and Moby does a great job narrating it himself.
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